|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TUESDAY, JANUARY 11, 2011
CONTACT: LOLA POTTER
NASHVILLE – A Washington County woman is charged with fraudulently obtaining medical benefits through the TennCare public healthcare insurance program.
The Office of Inspector General (OIG), with assistance from the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, today announced the arrest of Stacey Barrett, 31, of Johnson City. A Washington County indictment accuses Barrett of aiding and abetting another person in obtaining TennCare benefits she was not eligible to receive.
The TennCare fraud charge against Barrett could result in a two year sentence, if convicted. District Attorney General Tony Clark is prosecuting.
“Local law enforcement officers have been priceless in helping us pursue people who commit TennCare fraud,” Inspector General Deborah Faulkner said. “Along with assistance from doctors and pharmacists across the state, we’re getting the word out that this activity will bring criminal charges and possibly a conviction.”
The OIG, which is separate from TennCare, began full operation in February 2005 and has investigated cases leading to over $2.5 million paid in restitution and recoupment to TennCare, with a total estimated cost avoidance of over $171 million for the TennCare program, according to latest figures. To date, over 1,300 people have been charged with TennCare fraud.
Through the OIG Cash for Tips Program established by the Legislature, Tennesseans can get cash rewards for TennCare fraud tips that lead to convictions. Anyone can report suspected TennCare fraud by calling 1-800-433-3982 toll-free from anywhere in Tennessee, or log on to www.tn.gov/tnoig and follow the prompts that read "Report TennCare Fraud."